The Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure on Thursday clarified that the paperwork signed for the development of an international airport at Thinadhoo Island, in Gaafu Dhaalu (GDh.) Atoll, was for a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The company would be vetted for capacity before awarding and signing the main contract, the ministry said in a statement.

The Mohamed Muizzu administration announced the project during an event at Thinadhoo on Tuesday, signing an MoU with Thailand’s Pan Pacific Company Limited. This led many to believe that Pan Pacific would continue to undertake the development, as it was also announced that the company would be financing the entire development, as per their proposal highlighted during a video presentation at the event that night.

“The contract for this project will be signed only after verifying the technical and financial capabilities of the proposer, taking into consideration all factors, and in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Maldives,” the statement said.

The Construction Ministry statement also provided further details on Pan Pacific’s proposal.

“Pan Pacific Company Limited has proposed to set up a four-kilometre runway, an international and domestic passenger terminal, and a seaplane terminal, as well as all the facilities included at an international airport,” the ministry said.

The company had also proposed to develop a luxury resort, a yacht marina and a flight school, the ministry said.

The administration has yet to release — other than the information showcased in the video presentation at Tuesday night’s event — additional information on the proposed Thinadhoo International Airport development. According to local media reports, the Thinadhoo Council and island residents also first learned of the proposed development at Tuesday night’s event.